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Long Covid could create a generation affected by disability, expert warns

Long Covid could create a generation affected by disability, with people forced out of their homes and work, and some even driven to suicide, a leading expert has warned.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Prof Danny Altmann – an immunologist at Imperial College London – said that the UK’s current approach to Covid fails to take the impact of infections sufficiently seriously, adding that more needs to be done to aid diagnosis and treatment of Long Covid.

“It’s kind of an anathema to me that we’ve kind of thrown in the towel on control of Omicron wave infections and have said ‘it’s endemic, and we don’t care any more, because it’s very benign’,” he said. “It just isn’t. And there are new people joining the long Covid support groups all the time with their disabilities. It’s really not OK, and it’s heartbreaking.”

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, by the end of January this year about 1.5 million people – or 2.4% of the population – in the UK said they were experiencing ongoing symptoms more than four weeks after their first suspected Covid infection, with 45% reporting that infection was a year or more ago.

The findings chime with a recent UK study that found only around one in three patients who had ongoing Covid symptoms after being hospitalised with the disease reported feeling fully recovered a year later.

Asked whether Long Covid could lead to a generation affected by disability, Altmann agreed. “Totally,” he said.

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Source: The Guardian, 23 March 2022


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